On February 27, 2013 America's first self-funded commercial space passenger, Mr. Dennis Tito, announced an audacious space plan to send two humans on a flyby mission to Mars in the Year 2018. The proposed effort is predicated on a known launch window in 2018 for a 501 day minimum energy ballistic trajectory. It is truly an innovative concept, and unlike many recently launched grandiose plans for human exploration of the Moon and beyond, it has Mr. Tito's considerable check book behind it. While as of yet the plan is incomplete, it is a baseline from which to build on, and most importantly it does, I think, what Mr. Tito intended, which is to change the conversation about exploring beyond Earth orbit.
I am not interested in comparing the Inspiration Mars (IM) plan to NASA's plans but to focus on what could be done to improve that mission. When I first walked into NASA JSC in 2000 with my Space Act Agreement for a satellite to be assembled on the station the center Director Mr. Abbey had these instructions for his center. "Your job is not to tell this man why he cannot do what he wants to do. Your job is to figure out how to help him do it". Wise words, so lets focus on what can be done to make it work and work better